As part of a conservation effort, the Oregon Zoo released hundreds of Oregon Silverspot caterpillars back into the wild. Until the zoo intervened to assist the species recover, this pollinating butterfly was on the verge of extinction.
Hundreds of Oregon silverspot butterfly caterpillars were released with our partners yesterday in order to give these endangered pollinators a fighting chance.
Each egg was hatched and reared in a controlled setting that closely resembled their natural surroundings. The caterpillars are released after they are entirely viable.
Field biologists catch a small number of female silverspots each summer and bring them to the zoo to lay eggs. The eggs develop into small caterpillars that are kept secure throughout their hibernation in the winter. They grow swiftly after waking up to a leafy feed in the spring. The zoo and its conservation partners transport silverspot caterpillars and pupae to field areas when the time is perfect, in order to bolster the three remaining Oregon populations.